POWER AND SYRED / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY POWER AND SYRED / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bee sting and needle. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the sting of a honeybee (brown) compared with the point of a needle. The tip of the sting is armed with backward sloping barbs which makes it difficult to remove once it is embedded in skin. This barbed sting of the honeybee, Apis mellifera, was originally an egg- laying organ that evolved into a weapon of defence. It consists of moveable chitinous elements into which the ducts of two glands open, one gland producing a poison which is injected when the sting penetrates. Magnification: x120 at 6x7cm size.
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